Hurricane Season Approaches in Mahahual

I was told this the other day, and I have been trying to find some research to back it up.  The other day I was told that the lobster fishermen here in Mahahual are having to go real deep now to find lobster.  When the lobster are in deep water in July and August here, that means that an active hurricane season is in store for us here on the Mexican Caribbean.

In doing my research to prove or disapprove of this, I came across this study.

“It is generally accepted that seasonal changes in the physico-chemical environment, particularly temperature and salinity, affect the catch and movements of the American lobster Homarus amencanus (McCleese & Wilder 1958, Krouse 1973, Munro & Therriault 1983, Reynolds & Casterlin 1985, Ennis 1986, Robichaud & Campbell 1991, Campbell 1992, DiBacco & Pringle 1992, W. Watson, H. Howell & A. Vetrovs unpubl. data). Intense storms often cause transient drops in salinity and changes in water temperature, and several anecdotal reports suggest that these events trigger movements of lobsters. For example, both Cooper et al. (1975) and Ennis (1984) observed that adult lobsters in inshore regions undertake small-scale movements downslope from shallow waters to deeper areas in response to stormy conditions. It was also noted that when these storms occur during the summer, the lobsters usually return to shallow waters shortly after the ‘Present address: SEA Division, NOAA, N/ORCA 1. SSMC 4, 1305 East West Hwy, Silver Spring, Maryland 20910, USA ‘ ‘Addressee for correspondence event (Ennis 1984). After particularly severe storms, there have been reports of many dead lobsters washed up on beaches in New Brunswick (Prince 1897) and on Prince Edward Island, Canada (D. J. Scarratt pers. comm. reported in Drinkwater et al. 1991), and the rapid declines in salinity associated with some storms have reportedly caused lobster mortalities when the freshwater layer reached low enough to cover their burrows (Thomas 1968, Thomas & White 1969). Taken together, these reports suggest that during storms lobsters move to deeper water which is colder, calmer and has a higher salinity. The purpose of this study was to collect movement and catch data which might improve our understanding of this behavior. Catastrophic storms, particularly hurricanes, may perturb the inshore environment by several means including increased turbidity (Tabb & Jones 1962, Saloman & Naughton 1977), depletion of oxygen due to decomposition of exposed or resuspended organic sediments or detritus (Tabb & Jones 1962, Saloman & Naughton 1977, Knott & Martore 1991), physical disturbance due to tidal, wind and wave action (Saloman & Naughton 1977, Yeo & Risk 1979, Lowery 1992), and low salinities caused by heavy rains and runoff (Saloman & Naughton 1977, Knott & Martore 1991). The most obvious environmental impact of severe storms (e.g. hurricanes) on temperate estuaries is the occurrence of freshets (Witham et al. 1968, Boesch et al. 1976, Knott & Martore 1991) which cause a rapid, and large, drop in salinity.”  source:http://www.int-res.com/articles/meps/119/m119p305.pdf

So I guess there is some scientific evidence for this factor, and it is not just an old fisherman’s tale.  It has something with the water being warm also, so the lobsters head for deeper and colder water here in the Caribbean.

So with that factor, and everything else I have read, it looks like the hurricane season here will be very active this year.  Also this is the year after “El Nino”, and that in the past has always been an active hurricane season in the Caribbean.

There is already a hurricane on the way, expected to hit here next week.

Last year we had no hurricane activity here in Mahahual at all.  Last hurricane we had was Ernesto a couple of years ago.  In fact this weekend the Jats”a-Ja’ festival is going on.  The festival was started after Hurricane Dean destroyed Mahahual in 2007, and is a celebration of the rebuilding of Mahahual.

The festival is going on all weekend with different activities, and a stage with live music at night.  It is put on every year on the anniversary of Hurricane Dean.

2016 Atlantic,

Caribbean & Gulf Of

Mexico Hurricane

Season Forecast

Summary: The 2016 Atlantic Hurricane Season is likely to be much more active than the 2015 Hurricane season. In fact, this season could be the most active hurricane season since 2012. In addition, it appears that we will see longer lasting tropical storm activity this year as well as more hurricane activity this season as compared to the last few years.

With that said, the forecast for the 2016 Atlantic Hurricane season continues to be a very difficult one due to many factors that may be in favor for a very active season but other ones may cause it to be quite inactive.

The Numbers: 11 more named storms (we have already seen the development of Alex back in January), 8 of those storms becoming hurricanes and 3 of those hurricanes becoming major hurricanes (Category 3 or higher on the Saffir-Simpson scale).

Accumulated Cyclone Energy (ACE) Index Forecast: I am forecasting an ACE index this year of 110. This number basically says that I expect that overall activity in the Atlantic may be 10 percent above the long term average. Compare this to the 2015 Hurricane Season which had a ACE index of 58.

ENSO Conditions: It continues to look very likely still looks very likely that we will transition into neutral conditions as we head into summer and then into La Nina conditions by late this summer or early this autumn. All of the ENSO model guidance continues to support this forecast and it is now inevitable that we will have La Nina conditions by Autumn, if not before then.

Sea Surface Temperatures: Even though the sea surface temperatures across the eastern and northeastern Atlantic have warmed up considerably since early April, they are still below average across the Azores Islands and along the coast of Portugal. Further west, the ocean water temperatures across the western Atlantic are above average and this could potentially mean we could see tropical systems form close to the US coastline and the Bahamas.

Risk Areas: The European model guidance’s tropical activity forecast is forecasting enhanced tropical cyclone activity near the US East Coast, across the western Gulf Coast and across the Yucatan Peninsula. In addition, the European model guidance is also forecasting below average activity across the central and eastern Atlantic.

Another model, the NMME model, is forecasting that the highest risk areas could be the northwestern Caribbean, much of the Gulf of Mexico and along the US East Coast. In addition, the NMME model is forecasting that the eastern Caribbean and the Lesser Antilles could be active in terms of tropical cyclone activity.

Our Thoughts On Risk Areas Are That I continue to strongly believe that the Gulf of Mexico and particularly the northern and western Gulf Coast has an increased threat for a hurricane impact during the 2016 Hurricane Season. This is supported by the analog years that I have identified as all have had at least one tropical storm or hurricane impact on the Gulf Coast.

Elsewhere, it looks as if the Caribbean and the Atlantic between the Lesser Antilles and the coast of Africa could be inactive due to colder than average ocean water temperatures and potentially unfavorable conditions across the eastern Atlantic.

Finally, the entire US East Coast could also be an active area in terms of tropical cyclone activity with at least 1 tropical storm or hurricane threat/impact this season with no one area at higher risk than another.

All-in-all, I think that we will see most, if not all of the tropical systems this year form in the area north of 20 North Latitude and west of 60 West Longitude with the area of main concern the Gulf of Mexico and particularly the northern and western US Gulf Coast.”

2016 Atlantic Tropical Cyclone Names:
Alex
Bonnie
Colin
Danielle
Earl
Fiona
Gaston
Hermine
Ian
Julia
Karl
Lisa
Matthew
Nicole
Otto
Paula
Richard
Shary
Tobias
Virginie
Walter

source:http://crownweather.com/index.php/discussions/2016-atlantic-caribbean-gulf-of-mexico-hurricane-season-forecast/

So batten down the hatches, and get ready for an active hurricane season in Mahahual and the Western Caribbean this year.  I have already been through eight hurricanes, so I am not too worried, just head to high ground.

Thanks for reading,

Stewart Rogers USA-South Carolina

Doctor’s Visit in Bacalar, Cheaper than a Cup of Starbucks

I am sharing a memory from my Facebook today.  This came up today, so I would thought I would share on this blog.  I went to the doctor in Bacalar with a Mexican friend last year.  He had to get some kind of check up.  We were in and out in about 20 minutes.  (Not like 2 or 3 hours in the USA).

I was sitting there waiting and I noticed the medical prices.  These prices are in pesos, so the exchange rate is now about 18:1 pesos, 18 peso to 1 USA dollar.  So you do the math, you will be surprised.

 

I went with a Mexican friend yesterday to the doctor’s office in Bacalar. The prices are in pesos, doctor visit costs less than $4 in USA dollars. All other prprocedures about the same. No insurance companies so health care is affordable, and if you have no money they have free clinics here. And these are good qualified doctors and medicine. I bought my diabetes meds in Bacalar yesterday for 40 pesos, about $3 USA dollars.

Here is a comment from one of my Facebook friends on my Facebook post today.

“We get all of our dental work done while we are in Mexico. And, last year while on vacation, my luv had a hernia that needed to be treated. He was admitted into a great hospital in Playa, with an US educated surgeon. Everything went fine, the care and facilites rivaled anything in the States, and the cost was about 1/10th of what it would have cost at home. I cant say enough good things about the medical care in Mexico!”

Thanks for reading,

Stewart Rogers USA-South Carolina

Pro Basketball in Playa del Carmen

I was on the malecon yesterday sitting and waiting to see if I could my Iphone fixed, and a big black guy walked up to me. I noticed he had on some Jamaica swim trunks, so I knew he was not Belizean, Belize guys would not wear those. He asked me if I was from South Carolina, and I said yes.

He then told me he was from Charlotte, North Carolina, and played college basketball at USC-Aiken, and Mercer. He now plays pro basketball in Playa del Carmen in a Mexican league. He said he has only been here a week. He was on the beach with 3 Mexican women from Playa del Carmen. He said there are other players from the USA playing in this league.  So I checked it out, and there is pro basketball in Playa del Carmen.

I forgot to get the player’s name, but I am sure I can look him up later.  So here is some information about Tucanes pro basketball team in Playa del Carmen.

Tagline
TUCANES BASKETBALL
Bragging rights
getting the team ready for a championship run at the state of Qroo,Mexico basketball professional league
I will find out some more details and information in the near future.  I plan on going up and checking out a game or two.
Thanks for reading,
Stewart Rogers USA-South Carolina

Business Opportunities in Mahahual

I get a lot of questions from people inquiring about business opportunities here in Mahahual.  I get emails and questions on this blog from expats wanting to go into business here in Mahahual.  A lot of people are fed up with the system in the USA, and are looking to get out and start over.

When people ask me about going into business, I always tell them, the best business to have is something that the Mexicans here can’t do, or something that caters to future expats.

Currently there are not a whole lot of expats from the USA in business here.  Steve from the Tropicante, Tina from Cabello Blanco, Evan from Nacioanal Beach Club, and Otto from the internet company, are about the only expats from the USA I can think of currently doing business in Mahahual.

I know there are several resorts like Maya Chan, Mayan Beach Gardens, and Costa de Cocos, that are owned and operated by expats from the USA.  Several Italians here have businesses, like the Fish Spa, Divino’s restaurant, Arenas hotel, Pizza Papi, and several others.  Moises from Spain has a dive shop, Buceando Mahaual, along with several other Europeans who also own dive shops.  The two girls from Uruguay run Nam Nam and Pizza Metro, so the business owners in Mahahual are very diverse, and from all over the world.

So it depends on what your skills are, and what you want to do in Mahahual, if you plan on going into business here.  For instance, if you can work on computers or repair Iphones, and tablets, you can always make money in Mahahual.  Right now my Iphone screen has quit working, but everything else works, except I can’t slide to open phone.  I also have an identical 3gs Iphone which is locked, so if I can find someone here to unlock it, I can turn my two Iphones into one that will work.  It looks like my only choice is to go to Chetumal or Playa del Carmen to get it worked on.  I am not the only one looking for repair work on electronics, I come across people every day with the same problem.  So if you are asking me, that is a good business to have here, and you can even probably do it out of your house.

Another big business opportunity here I think for the future is rental properties.  There are not enough good rentals to meet the demand for rentals here.  A Mexican investor the other day bought some lots in New Mahahual (Casitas), and plans on building some efficiency apartments.

Right now at the moment, if you are asking me, the best investment you can make for the future in Mahahual is lots or land.  You can buy a lot or some land, and just sit on it for the future, and watch the value go up.  There are lots in New Mahahual right now starting from $21,000 to $35,000 usd depending on location.  There are not many houses for sale here at the moment, but there are plenty of nice lots.  All the lots are ready to build on and have all the services.  So buying a lot and building some rental properties here, to me is a no brainer, and a great way to invest and make some money in Mahahual.

There is all kinds of new construction going on, and Juan Carlos of Blue Kay is building a new 18 room hostel on the road near the lighthouse, I have been told.

New hostel going up.

New hostel going up.

malecon crimea girl 009

So now just to throw it out there, here are some business ideas or opportunities that I have come across, or I think would be a good business investment.  Now remember these are just some of my personal observations, and things in my opinion might be a way to make money in Mahahual.  Just remember nobody gets rich in Mahahual, especially me, but it is a good life.  So maybe I am not the person to listen to about making money, but I am going to throw some things out there for your consideration.

Pawn shop, (of course I watch “Pawn Stars” on my computer, so I may be a little biased), there are always people in Mahahual needing some quick cash.  On a community Facebook page here in Mahahual, there are always people selling tablets, phones, kitchen equipment, and other things trying to raise some money to pay some bills.  A good pawn shop here I think would make some money.

Computer and tablet repair shop.  I have already mentioned this before, but I am constantly asked by expats where can they get their computers fixed or upgraded, same with androids and phones.

Assisted living facility is also something that might would go over big in Mahahual.  I have read that senior care housing is becoming big along with medical tourism in Mexico.  You can stay in an assisted living center in Mexico for around $1,000 usd a month, compared to $3,000 a month in the USA.  I also read you get a lot for that $1,000 a month, private chef, fully staffed, good medical care, nice rooms, and many other amenities.  I think this will be big in the future on the Mexican Caribbean.

Other things that might be good to do here to make some money is service businesses.  Some of the women here cook meals and sell them out of their house.  A woman makes paella once a week and sells that on the weekends.  We also have a couple that makes sushi and delivers it out of their house.  I personally would like to have someone start making and selling good old American food like, chicken fried steak, meat loaf, fried chicken, mashed potatoes and gravy, corn bread, banana pudding, BBQ, and any other USA favorites.  I am about tortlllaed out.

So this has been my spin on some business opportunities here in Mahahual.  So don’t rush out and start making plans on what I say.  Do your research, talk to some people, come stay a while before you decide on anything, because from experience I can tell you Mahahual is not for everybody.  I have seen them come and go.

And whatever you do, don’t come down here and open a BBQ restaurant on the malecon, and use an electric smoker with mahogany wood, you will not last long.

Thanks for reading,

Stewart Rogers USA-South Carolina

 

 

 

A Scoop on Mexican Ice Cream

I got nothing today, i have been sitting here all morning trying to think of something to write about, and I got squat.  Mind is not working good today, can’t get in the mood.  So I opened my email, and I got this article sent to me from a newsletter I belong to here in Mexico.

Yesterday I was with my new friend from the Ukraine, and she was wanting some ice cream.  So when I saw this article about ice cream in Mexico this morning, I thought some readers may be interested in ice cream since it is summertime, and hot everywhere.

Ice Cream Flavors

It sometimes seems that every time you look around there’s a new ice cream parlor or store offering the latest in exotic flavors. The proliferation of fancy brands — Haagen Dazs, Ben and Jerry’s, Santa Clara — might lead you to the wrong conclusion about just how much ice cream Mexicans consume.

According to some reports, Mexicans only eat on average 1.5 liters of ice cream  a year, a small fraction of what Americans and New Zealanders — the world’s top consumers — guzzle down.

Also somewhat surprising, for a relatively low-wage country, is the amount of business done by ice cream brands of which a single serving cone or tub can cost anything from three to four US dollars.

Market studies here can be incomplete in a country where there is a large informal economy, and products such as ice cream and popsicles are often made by individuals whose sales are off the marketing experts’ radar screens.

It’s ice-cream franchises, however, that are expected to generate the growth in product consumption in the country.

If you visit or live in a large city or tourist resort, the most likely place you’ll find ice cream is at one of these chains, many of which are located at malls. Local grocery stores—las tienditas—convenience stores such as Oxxo and 7-Eleven, as well as a majority of pharmacies have fridges with prepackaged ice creams and popsicles, mostly in single servings. Multi-packs and larger presentations are found in the freezers at supermarkets.

The best known brand of ice cream in Mexico, and apparently the one with the largest market share is Helados Holanda. These tend to be cheaper than the boutique brands, whether bought in individual servings or in larger packages. This makes a lot of sense when buying ice cream for a family, but for those particular about quality—all natural ingredients, for example—this apparently won’t do, and those who can afford it prefer to buy the expensive stuff.

It’s almost impossible not to come across a popsicle shop — paleteria called La Michoacana. These shops sell a wide range of fruit-flavored paletas as well as cream ones, paletas de crema. A word of advice, go for the water ones. Although originally from the state of Michoacán, apparently just about anyone can call their paleteria La Michoacana, as this interesting report suggests.

In small towns, and still occasionally in large cities, you can find the traditional ambulant purveyors of heladosor nieves in the case of  lime sorbets, being served from a push cart or from a container placed in ice on the front of an adapted bicycle. These vendors are famous for crying out “de limón la nieveeeeee!!!

Soft ice cream from a machine is also growing in popularity, not only because of the flavor but also because of the price. McDonald’s offers a range of these ice creams at its restaurants, but also has external ice cream counters at many of its outlets for those who just want to pick-up some passing refreshment. If your budget is somewhat strained and it’s hot out, this can be quite a useful option.

source:http://www.mexperience.com/a-scoop-on-mexican-ice-cream/

Thanks for reading,

Stewart Rogers USA-South Carolina

American Football in Chetumal

Buhos, (Owls) American football team in Chetumal.

Buhos, (Owls) American football team in Chetumal.

Today I get to write about one of my favorite subjects, football, or as they call it here in Mexico, Football Americano.  This is such a thing as the Organizacion de Football Americano here in Mexico, and there is a team and a league in Chetumal.  There are also teams in Merida, Playa del Carmen, Cancun, and Cozumel.

The team and league in Chetumal is called Buhos De Chetumal.

Buhos logo.

Buhos logo.

The main objective of this club is to prepare young competitive in football practice, in an organized and professional manner.  The Head Coach of the team is Fernando Gonzalez, and he works for the Department of Tourism in Chetumal.

Last week I got to sit down and talk to him and his family here in Chetumal.  This all came about because I have developed a reputation here in Mahahual, as being Mr. American Football, I guess.  People here in Mahahual have found out I used to play and coach football, so a lot of people are always talking football with me around here.  I also either wear Gamecock football hats, or some other football hats around town, so I attract a lot of attention.

A couple of weeks ago one of the taxi cab drivers here came up to me and started asking me questions about football.  I have told some of the Mexican guys on the malecon, that I coached Brandon Bennett when he was young, and he ended up going to the University of South Carolina, and playing in the NFL for almost ten years.  So the taxi cab driver asked me if it was true I coached an NFL player.  I told him I guess so, if you wanted to put it that way.  He then asked me if I minded meeting his friend Fernando Gonzalez, who coached the Buhos team in Chetumal, the next time he came to Mahahual.  I said sure no problem.

Well last weekend we sat down on the beach here, and talked some football.  Fernando told me his team and league were trying to promote football in Chetumal.  They league is for players from the age of 6 to 22 years old.  They have flag football teams for the younger kids, and start full contact football with pads for kids 14 years and older.

He told me there are about 400 participants in Chetumal, and about 3,000  participants in Quintana Roo.  The teams travel to places like Cozumel, Cancun, and Playa del Carmen to play games.  He said they get around 300 spectators at every game.  The organization also holds clinics to get youth interested in American football.  Also both boys and girls are allowed to play.

What is funny, when I lived in Caldaritas near Chetumal, I used to take the bus back from Chetumal in the evening.  On the route back to where I was staying, I used to see people out practicing and going through football drills through my bus window.  I stopped a couple of times to watch the team practice, and who would have thought I would later meet the coach here in Mahahual.

Fernando played football himself when he was younger, and his son now plays free safety on the Buhos team.  Fernando has been involved with the league and team for five years.

The league resumes in October, and then again in March, so I plan on going to watch a game.  We also discussed starting a league or team here in Mahahual.  It costs around 7,000 pesos (around $400 usd) to fully equip a player for full contact football.  This includes pads, helmet, uniforms, all the equipment.  It also costs around 210,000 pesos (about $10,000), to start an organization like his in Chetumal.

The first step here in Mahahual I guess would be to start a flag football league for the young kids, and go from there.  So if anyone out there is interested in sponsoring a flag football league or team here in Mahahual, get in touch with us.

The Buhos are also interested in sponsors or advertisers for there league in Chetumal.  So if you are interested contact Fernando Gonzalez at buhoschetumal@hotmail.com, or you can call him at 983-104-1092.

If you are coming to Mahahual on a cruise or vacation, and want to help out, we will take anything you want to bring to give to the players and league.  Footballs, tees, jerseys, t-shirts, and anything else you might have will being greatly appreciated. Donations will also be accepted.

Coach Fernando.

Coach Fernando.

Thanks for reading,

Stewart Rogers USA-South Carolina